Give us a great idea for a mobile application, Win a free 16GB iPad

College Life is getting ready for school to start again and they want to send you back to school in style, with a new Apple iPad.

And as a little end-of-summer project, College Life wants your help in designing a brand new iPhone/iPad app for college. We want to hear your best ideas of what you’d want in an App, and then we’ll let the users vote on the best ones. The winner will receive a brand new 16GB iPad and be given a conceptual credit on the app itself. Go ahead and put that on your resume. At the very least, you’ll be able to answer the question, “What did you do with your summer vacation?”

Here’s how you enter the contest:

Step 1: Give us an idea for an App that you would actually use.

Enter your concept in the comments below. It can be anything- from an App to help you study to an App to help you party. We just want to build something that fits our name: College Life. Give us a real idea, something that you would actually use. If it looks like you’re just trying to waste our time, you’re not going to win. It’s that simple.

Step 2: Put up a link to this post and have your friends vote you up.

To qualify for the iPad, you put a link to this post on your favorite social network and have your friends vote you up. We don’t care if you use Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Posterous, or MySpace (but really, who uses MySpace anymore?). The voting is crucial, because the 16 posters with the most votes on August 15th will be selected to go into the second round.

If you’re to lazy to send your friends to the site, then you can also friend us on facebook or follow us on twitter instead.

You can enter multiple ideas for an app into this contest, so long as with every entry you either link to the comment from an external website or friend one of our social networks.

Contest Schedule

This contest will be open for entries from July 15 to 11:59 PM PST August 15, 2010. The top 16 entries will then be selected and entered into the playoff system that we developed for the Christmas Video Contest

The playoff will go like this:

Second Round: August 16-20.
Semifinal: August 21-25
Final: August 26-30

The winner will be announced on August 31, and will receive their iPad just in time for the beginning of the semester.

Official Rules

All entrants must be 18 years or older. Multiple entries are allowed, but will only qualify if they follow the steps listed above. The application concept must be an original idea from the entrant. Plagiarized or stolen ideas will result in immediate disqualification from the contest. Entrants must provide a legitimate concept and link to this post from another site in order to qualify for the prize. College Life reserves the right to publish/create a mobile phone application based on any of the concepts entered into this competition. By entering, contestants yield intellectual rights to the concept to College Life. College Life will not produce an application based on a concept provided without first notifying the entrant, however, guarantees no compensation, monetary or otherwise, for use of the concept. College Life will not sell nor use contestants’ information for anything outside of notifying entrants or otherwise communicating with the contestant. The contest will be discontinued unless a minimum of 30 qualifying entries have been entered by 11:59pm MST, 8/19/2010. College Life reserves the right to cancel the contest at any point for any reason, as it is there contest and their prize in the first place. iPad and Apple are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. Apple, Inc. share no affiliations with College Life or its sister sites. Apple, Inc. does not endorse College Life or its sister sites.

Enter your App idea in the comments for a chance to win a free Apple iPad!

This contest is officially closed for entries! Thanks to everyone who entered. Voting on the entries below will continue through Midnight MST on Thursday, August 19. So vote for your favorite. May the best idea win!

82 comments on “App Idea Contest – Win a 16GB iPad

  • I think a real-time textbook market app would be really useful for college students. Just like the various stock market and trading apps have real time tickers, this textbook app could display – in real time – the current value of various textbooks based on a combination of the prices at college bookstores, online retail sites and through independent marketplaces like eBay and even Craigslist.

    You can also provide a simple marketplace for students to buy and sell books they need/have at any of these different places – all at a price determined by the current market.

  • The Ultimate Virtual Digital Locker App will allow users to track their credit card, mileage program, hotel reward card, supermarket loyalty club card programs and show the user what is needed to reach the next preferred level or what award redemption options are available at the current level.

    This app will not only track current balances for the various programs, but also make available the contact information for the respective programs in case the user has questions or needs more information about a program or needs to report a card lost/stolen.

    The app will allow the user to present a scan able image of the card on the phone screen so in case the user doesn’t have the physical card on him/her, he/she could present the scan able image and it would work just like a physical card would.

    The app will alert the user as to when the miles/reward points are scheduled to expire.

    The app will also allow the user to store their usernames/passwords for their various online accounts in one central location.

    In case of loss/theft of the phone, the user could login using a regular computer or contact support via another telephone and remotely lock/delete the information stored in the app.

    Consolidating all the program information in one central app will make life a lot easier for its user.

  • Party-Map-App: It would be a real-time updating map of your college campus that would have locations of parties with walking, biking, and driving directions. It would also provide details about the party, such as other app-users that are attending.

  • I say a “free food” app. I know so many people that basically eat day to day at college by going to club meetings/presentations that have free food but I can never find them! Help us poor college students find those free meals that usually end up in the trash due to low attendance!

  • I think a lot of students would like to be able to check on assignments and grade updates. An app that linked to their college website that alerts when a new item has been posted would be convenient!

  • Give us an app idea and then tweet this page (or post it on your facebook). Then we’d love to sign you up.

  • SHARE YOUR HOBBY or ACADEMIC ABILITIY!!! Create an app with a menu of different kinds of hobbies or academic ability like: Photography, Painting, Foreign Language, Filming, Music, School Subjects (Mathematics, Science, etc.) , Baking, Cooking, Dance, etc. Then allow people to post a hobby that they would like to share with fellow students. This allows students with similar interests to interact and opens up opportunities for new friendships. It also allows students to meet new people in the area who can teach them a new hobby. This app would also open up tutoring opportunity’s showing available tutors and students in need of a tutor.

  • My idea is an auto responder for when you’re busy and can’t answer your phone or text back.

    People that don’t answer their phone drive me crazy, but if I called and the phone simply told me that they are in a movie or a meeting, I’d stop calling and not care.

    This app, when enabled would have typical activities that you could quickly select (in a movie, in a meeting, playing football, in class, etc). If you were in a movie, it would tell the caller you’re in a movie, and if somebody texts you, it would text them back letting them know you’re in a movie.

  • When I was in college, I would have loved easier access to the various style guides required by professors. Looking up all that MLA and APA formatting stuff each time I wrote a paper was a royal pain. Having an app with each of these popular styles would have been such a time saver in compiling all those bibliographies.

  • Another idea for an app is a frat-app (sororities too). The app would display information and news about every fraternity and sorority and that particular college, if you are a member you would consequently get more personalized updates. This app would help students both connect with fraternities and keep up-to-date on happenings and events.

  • A course catalog and selection application for the ipad or iphone. One of the toughest things for college students, especially incoming freshman, is selecting courses and setting up a schedule. The application would have to be unique to schools with some input from those institutions, but with proper collaboration, it would take one of the headaches out of college life.

  • An easy to use public transportation app that would tell you the closest station (for each type of transportation, university owned or otherwise) to your current location. It would also allow you to view the schedule for any applicable transportation systems so as to allow you to use an alternate route. Finally, if you are traveling to some far off location (like an apartment on the other side of town), it would have an option to simply type in the location and then tell you the easiest way to get there, using public transportation or course. Often times college students, especially freshman, don’t have a car or any other means of easy transportation and are not used to public transportation, let alone that of a strange town or city. This app would streamline the whole process of getting to and from classes and parties.

  • Plagiarism Checker: It would be a smaller and lighter version of the plagiarism checkers and teachers and universities often use. Late nights can often lead to accidental plagiarism, and using this app would stop such happenings and may even prevent unfair suspensions and expulsions.

  • I think that it would be very helpful to have a class schedule app! Especially during the beginning of the year so you would always know where you are going next, and maybe the class schedule app could direct you to WHERE your next class is by showing you a map! Take this idea into consideration. (:

  • The Office Hours App.

    Is my professor in? When I was in college the professors would post office hours on their doors for students that needed help. I can’t tell you how many times I would go wait outside the professors office only to have him not show … or I’d hear he was there an hour ago and I missed him. I think it would be great to have an app where the professors could update real time what their office hours are going to be today. And if they are getting the same questions about homework from a number of students, they could post a written or video clarification so that other students wouldn’t have to trudge down to their office.

    Thanks for the great contest! I’ll be tweeting and posting links to it on Facebook!

  • GPA app
    On the first day of class most professors tell you how your grade will be determine … “50% for 3 exams, 25% for the final, and 25% for your term paper” – something like that. Every time I would get an exam back in a class, the first thing I would do was figure out what score I would need to get on the next exam to keep my “A” … okay “B” 😉 … in that class. Then I would figure out what grades I needed in all my other classes to keep my GPA. I was a math major, and even I had trouble keeping track of all this. If only there were an app for that …

    Thanks for the great contest! I’ll be tweeting and posting links to it on Facebook!

  • It would be an app that provides an updated list of jobs on campus. It would help students find jobs that they are interested in and able to work, giving information such as compensation and hours.

  • I think that there should be a college teams app, it would give info on all sporting events for whatever college you are attending and offer some system of purchasing tickets for the events

  • I know that a big part of my college experience, at least right now, is searching for research opportunities. It’s been pretty tough for me to find good research opportunities, which is a big part of grad school admissions. I think that a great app, would be one that helps college students find legitimate research opportunities. The student would enter in some information, including what they are studying and what they would like to research, and the app would pair them with relevant research opportunities.

  • Used Book Finder App
    When I was in school I would have loved to save some money by buying used books. But it was really difficult to track them down, so I always seemed to pay the big bucks and buy them new. Wouldn’t it be great if you could use your iPhone to scan the bar codes of the books in the bookstore and it could tell you who on campus was selling a used version of that book? It could give you a comparison of all the people offering that book used and you could pick the price or location that worked for you – and then just click on the phone link so that you can tell them you’re on your way over to pick it up!

  • The Study Partner app
    When I was in college I would take detailed notes while reading the text books, and then I would go back and rewrite my notes in the form of test questions so that I could quiz myself later. I would have loved an app that would have allowed me to type all my notes in (instead of handwriting them), and then maybe I could just go back and highlight the “answers” in each note line and have the app generate the question for me. And if I were quizzed with questions in random order, then I couldn’t “cheat” by inadvertently memorizing the order of the answers. Also, I could quiz myself anywhere I was as long as I had my iPhone or iPad with me (no more carrying around ripped out loose leaf papers with scribbles all over them).

    Thanks for the great contest! I’ll be tweeting and posting links to it on Facebook!

  • It’s hard for me to find healthy, inexpensive food on campus, so I often have to make my own. But the same brown rice and cooked chicken can get boring after a while, I think that there should be an app that gives college kids healthy recipes with easy-to-find, cheap ingredients that are simple to make.

  • If an admin could answer this question, I’d appreciate it. Your rules mention that you will cancel the contest if it does not reach 30 qualifying entries. What counts as a qualifying entry, since I entered twice, are those 2 qualifying entries?

  • Your entries will both count, but we’re taking the ones with the most votes. So if one of your ideas has a +4 and another has a +1 rating, that’ll be how we weed things out.

  • Predictor.

    Divided into classes and year aggregate. Chart grades for different classes, and based on performance predict GPAs to determine whether you’r on course to pass or fail a class if you do nothing to improve scores.

    Secondary function: Key word.

    Enter key words of feedback from professors to identify the weak spots in your work so you can improve on them.

  • Scholarship Assistant

    An app that lists all scholarships, grants, loans, that are available per school, with notes and links to applications. Application requirements and deadlines for submissions.

  • I think that an app where you could enter in your schedule and see it on a map would be useful. This could help in schedule planning by making sure your next class isn’t so far away that you cannot get to it in time. Also, this app could work with gps and act as a guide when classes start. This would be helpful to new students by leading them to their classes until they learn where they are. It would also be helpful with large campuses.

  • Even though school hasn’t started yet, I’m already getting psyched for spring break. I think there’s enough time to get a spring break app up and running. It could tell people where other people are going on spring break, and help find killer deals on hotels, food, and bars. Make it happen.

  • I’m not really sure if this could apply to everyone, but I often don’t eat breakfast, and sometimes eat off campus, but I still have a mealplan. I’d like to have an app that keeps track of how many meals I have left, how much “food money” I have available, and a list of places that are on my mealplan with their menus. I’m always scared that I will go to get food and have my mealplan be empty!

  • A “class status” app would be useful. Something easy for both students and professors to use that notifies students of class cancellations. I don’t know how many times I have gone to class only to find that it has been canceled and the professor has announced the cancellation by just putting a note on the door or has sent out an email to my school email address or to some other email address I used when I first started college that I don’t check regularly.

  • Fun for Free App

    College students like myself, are either poor, cheap, or both. It would be cool if there was an app that would tell up coming free events around you. Such as free dance lessons, music in the park, art lessons, free drinks at bars, ladies nights (or men nights?) at clubs, art galleries, etc.

  • While at college,a lot of students want to meet and connect with people of the same/opposite sex many a times anonymously.And who can blame them,college is the perfect opportunity to make new friends,flirt with strangers,get potential dates,meet your soul mate and what not.

    A great application would be a chatting application where you can chat with anyone within a 1 mile radius who is using the chatting application.

    Also,to make the chatting application more interesting,the application can organise speed dating events on this ipad/iphone application itself where every interested person connects with others at a stipulated time and everyone gets to chat with every person of the opposite sex for 5 mins in a round-robin fashion.

  • Tie up with amazon,itunes,microsoft,etc and offer cheaper goods to the students.

    Big companies are always looking to entice college students.They,however,realise that most college students are hard pressed for money and are always on the lookout for great deals.

    Developing an app through which these companies can offer great offers exclusive to the on campus students of various colleges can be a win-win situation for both the companies and the students.

    Also,since the offers would be exclusive to the college students using the app at the campus,the companies can ensure that such discounts and offers do not hurt their revenue from their regular customers who earn a stable income.

    What more,the companies can also be asked to pay a part of their revenue/a fixed monthly fees to the application developer for letting them trade on this platform.

    It is a win-win situation for the companies offering their products,the consumer(the students in this case) and the application provider.Everybody goes home happy.

  • My-world App: In this app student can access his life both social & college.This app connect students social life on facebook,twitter & chat with friends.
    In college life the time table of academic year,his current working projects,events reminder(like prof. lecture etc.) , notes .

  • I’m not good enough to play on a varsity or club sports teams, but I really enjoy playing pickup football and pickup softball with people. I think that an app that allowed people to schedule pickup sports games would be groovy, that way, people would know the details of what was going on, and if there were enough people to play.

  • I play drums in a band, we’re not very good, but we still have a great time playing as many gigs as we can. Even though we aren’t that good, we’ve developed a pretty devout following. Our band, and I’m sure others, would love an app that allowed local bands to tell their followers and friends about gigs as far as their locations and times. There are thousands of bands out there on college campuses, and I think they’d like this app, too.

  • I’ve been fortunate enough in college to not ever have too much homework. It’s allowed me to have a job and be active in community service projects, and I know a lot of other people who want to be active in community service projects as well. I want to make an app that displays local community service opportunities with the times and details about the projects. I think it would give a lot of students something to do, while giving them an opportunity to help many people.

  • After luckily stumbling upon this contest, I was hooked, looking for other contests constantly. Laptops, video cards, tv’s, even clothes. But those searches take up a lot of time, so, I think that an app that finds contests like this would be great. It would help the site generate traffic and it would help people like me find the contests and win sweet stuff like an iPad.

  • I also think there should be an app that would be like craigslist, but serve only colleges and college students. I’ve had some pretty awful experiences with craigslist, trying to buy stuff from shady people, but if it were relegated to just colleges and college campuses, I think that it would be a lot safer and a lot easier.

  • I go to a huge school, Ohio State, and especially as a freshman, I had many large lecture classes. I would often leave a recorder at the front of the room, but with iPhones now and their ability to record, I think that there should be an app that can record spoken word, like lectures, and transcribe it to text for my notes. It would be so easy, and it could even work with other recorded files

  • The fantasy football season is nearly upon us. My draft is in five days, and I can’t wait, but there are many guys I know that asked to be in my league, and well, there is just no room. For their sake, I think a great app would be helping people find local fantasy leagues, so they can do offline or specialty drafts, like auction drafts.

  • read all your emails in one account:

    A lot of college students have several email accounts.What we’d like is to read all our emails at one place and not have to go to each and every inbox every day and check our various emails.Therefore,an app that allows us to read all our emails at one place would be great.

    This is how one has to initially set up:

    Go to the app and enter your username and password of all your email accounts,save them.This is just a one time thing and you don’t have to enter your username and password on these accounts again.

    Now just login to the app and voila! , read all your emails in one account.

  • sorry, accidentally posted the above,was posting it on twitter and facebook and accidentally posted it here.kindly delete the above

    By the way,I have put the link to this site and link to my comments on both facebook(through “what’s on your mind”)and twitter.

    my facebook profile id is!/profile.php?id=600430604

    my twitter id is hemantofkanpur

    Whatever one writes on facebook’s “what’s on your mind”,I believe,is displayed in the newsfeed of all of one’s friends.Newsfeed is the first thing one sees when one logs into ones account.I will be doing the same for all my future comments also.

    I also wanted to know if more than one entry by a person can reach the final 16?Thanks

  • Rate/review courses:

    A lot of students are skeptical of whether they should join a particular course or not.They want to know if the lectures were good,if the professor was good,how tough was the course as judged by past students,what the past students thought of the course in general,etc.

    One general approach is to try and find someone who has taken the course,ask his opinion,etc.This can be a painful process especially since one would want multiple opinions.To add to the problem,there is normally more than one course a student would want to get opinions on.

    An app where one can look at the opinions of students who have taken the course in the past would help immensely.Students after taking a course can add their opinion (anonymously,if they so want) through the app or can just email their opinion to the app,if possible.Other students who want to take the course can just enter the course number/name and look at the opinions.

  • Happy Hour App. It would show drink specials and activitys at bars near universitys and also the “sober” bus rout.

  • Hi,
    May I know why my suggestions where deleted?Is it because I am from India.I can get my ipad delivered to my relatives in USA,Canada,England.

    Also it doesn’t say anywhere that only only people from certain countries can participate.I’d appreciate a reply.Thanks

  • By delete I mean not posted yet,”.I logged in through another computer and couldn’t see my messages since “your comment is awaiting moderation”.I hope my comments meet what you are looking for

  • Iphone/ipad as a unique student identifier.

    It would be great if the iphone/ipad can be used as a unique student identifier .The possibilities then can be endless.

    How,this will work:

    Every student can register their ipad/iphone with the administration.The administration will then provide him with a unique id which will be stored on the app on his device.

    Now,since both the devices are wifi and bluetooth enabled,the devices can be made to transmit the unique id when requested by another device(which can also be an ipad/iphone) to identify the student.

    This id can then be used to:

    1.serve as a key to unlock gates/doors of areas
    restricted to certain students.

    2.make payments at cafetarias,book shops,etc(Student will be prompted and asked to manually enter a password on the iphone/ipad before the actual payment is made).

    3.Help in taking attendance at classes by noting which all ids are present in the room.However,it is also necessary to manually count the number of heads in the room and make sure that the number of people in the room=number of unique ids identified.

    This is because,students might carry ipads of other students besides their own to get these absentees an attendance also.If a head count is not made,many students who are not present in the room will be counted as present defeating the purpose of the system.

    A fee can be taken by the app provider from the college opting for this service.Colleges will be willing to do this because it will save them the cost of making physical digital ids for students.

  • A forum exclusive to the students of the college:

    Students have a whole lot on their mind that they want discuss and get opinions on.They love interacting with their peers,want to hear and be heard,generate an opinion and what not.

    While something like this can be done on the world wide web,it just wouldn’t generate the buzz and provide the service,an app, dedicated exclusively to the purpose and one that ensures that only students from within the campus have access to, will do.

    Think the cafetaria food is yuck->start a thread,
    don’t like the new college policy->start a thread,
    felt that Jessica Simpson looked hot in her new video ->start a thread
    feel boys and girls on campus should have a coed dorm->START A THREAD.

    Another feature of this app,should be the ability to start a poll where students can cast their vote on various issues.

  • App to take surveys,free promotions,etc

    This one is all about gifting students with free money,free goodies,free songs,etc in return for a small service of them.

    We see companies requiring surveys and making promotions.These companies,I would like to believe,even pay people to take their surveys.Many of these companies want to ensure that the surveys are taken exclusively by students belonging to a particular age bracket.Now they have 2 options,

    1.Get the surveys done online where they have little or no mechanism to satisfactorily verify that the survey taker is indeed of the age he is claiming to be
    (and is a student,if it is so required).Also,it can be the case, that it is hard for them to find students belonging to a particular age group/ethnicity/interests in the first place.

    2.Go to various college campuses and get the surveys done which can be an expensive process.

    Same goes for the promotions.Many companies launch promotions that they expect should reach the student population the most.Unfortunately,here also,it is difficult to reach the right group because of similar reasons stated above.

    So this is the plan.Go to one college,preferably with a large student population and make lots of students sign up for the app.Also,ensure that every student who gets the app on his iphone/ipad provides correct details like age/sex/hobbies/ethnicity(if that’s legal)/parents’ income,etc.

    I feel that signing around 3000 students which cover the entire cross section of the US society would be around enough for the surveys.

    For promotions,signing as many students as possible would be the best idea.

    Also,tie up with various survey agencies,promotion companies,etc.

    The fun begins.

    As and when required,send out surveys,promotions to a certain section /all of the students.The students get paid per survey.And,c’mon everybody like promotions.

    So,now the students get free money,free/cheap goodies through the promotions and the surveys.The companies are able to reach their target group.

    Also,the application provider can charge the companies a fee for providing them with this platform of connecting the companies and students together.

  • Hi,
    I just wanted to ask,what exactly is the voting mechanism.

    Am I expected to ask my friends to visit the site and vote for whichever is the best idea that they like(it could be one that is not even mine)


    Is it alright if I request them to come and vote on my ideas exclusively.

    I want to be on the correct side of the rules/expectations.

    Also,I have 3 suggestions that have made the final list(out of a total of 7 that I made,the rest 4 are still awaiting moderation).Can I ask each friend to vote for all my 3 ideas or can a friend vote for just one idea.Thanks

  • Please feel free to delete the following msg after readng it.

    I would like to suggest that giving 100% weightage to the votes that the ideas get is not a good idea in selecting the final 16.One can ask a whole lot of his family and friends to vote for him and he might get in the final 16 defeating ideas that were better than his but ones that couldn’t get much votes.In a nutshell,this voting method doesn’t take into account the merit of the idea.

  • A better method would be to give an undisclosed weightage (ideally around 20%) to the votes gained by an idea and the rest 80% weightage in determining the final 16,should be the judgement of you guys,who are unbiased and would rate ideas objectively.

    This way,people would continue to ask people to vote for their ideas since they realise how still each and every vote can make a difference ,despite the fact that votes would carry a lesser(and undisclosed) weightage.

    At the same time,however,by using your judgement in determining the final 16,you are ensuring that the merit of the idea is also taken into account.

  • Even some of my ideas are not posted as yet 🙁 .

    I request the admin to kindly clarify if they were rejected or if they might get posted in the future or if they are still under consideration.

  • I think there should be an app where it can bring up coupons on iphone or itouch and you can show someone like a cashier a barcode from this app and then have them scan it, so basically a coupon app. It would be helpful because you could know where to get good deals on campus! 🙂

  • This voting is just for the first round. From this pool, we will pull the top 16 and then put them in a bracket until we have winner. So the contest has a couple more weeks to run its course. I will post the top 16 bracket tomorrow morning. Best of luck to all!

  • Hi,
    so what was the result?I spent so much time on this contest like many others did.I request the mods to update us.Thanks

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